When the East Gave birth to the Moon, Love was the dancer at the feast; The heavens smiled for joy; And the Wind strewed the perfumed dust Of lotus-pollen in the courtyard of the sky.
(Poems from the Sanskrit Translated by John Brough)
Contrary to Lakme, whose name is simply a French variation of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth and Wisdom, the beauteous Nikiya, who is a dancer at Lakshmi temple, is involved not only in a love triangle, but a lovesquare, to continue geometrical metaphors. Both young ladies are in love with warriors, both seem to lack wisdom, making rash decisions, and neither one is wealthy. That’s it for similarities. Lakme falls in love with a British officer, Papa – High Brahmin vehemently objects, and she kills herself, singing a gorgeous aria while dying.